Thursday, February 23, 2012

2012 Oscar Picks and Predictions

Well, I've managed to somehow hobble through yet another year and I'm back for more Oscar talk. I'm doing it a little different this year. I usually start with the small awards and build up to the big best movie award but I figured I'd do the opposite this time. Firstly, nobody cares about those awards. Secondly, by time I got to the best picture award I always had to repeat stuff I had already said. I'm also trying to keep it a bit shorter than previous years. So I'm going to start out with the awards people actually care about. Going to go a bit in depth in the best movies first,then go through the acting ones and make a few comments then I'll just make go through the stupid awards very quickly. As always, this is mostly about my picks. I will also be making predictions, but for the most part this is about what I liked, not what I think the old farts in the Academy will actually pick. Every list of nominees is ranked from last to first. I'll also be sharing my own list of nominees. 

Here we go!


9 - “The Tree of Life"

Terrence Malick is the most over-rated director in the history of movies. His movies rarely make sense, rarely tell a story and are rarely seen. Yet the 10 people who DO watch them claim he's a genius and if you don't like the movie you just don't get it, maaaaan.  

I'm not above being too cool for the room guy. I love all kinds of quirky idiotic non-sense that the mainstream will never tolerate. But this is just too much. Watching a Malick movie is like watching Ed Wood try to make a Lars Von Trier movie. And as much as I hate Malick and every movie he has made, Tree of Life is BY FAAAAAAAAAARRR the worst thing he's done. And, yes, I will 100% honestly say this is one of the worst movies I've ever seen.

Calling it a movie is a bit of a stretch though. It's more like a 2 and a half hour long montage of random scenes. It's a music video with no music. Just a bunch of random shots of crap nobody wants to see. People rarely even talked on screen, like you'd hear them talking, but you'd just see them sitting there sad without their mouths moving. Then insert random scenes of birds flying or trees being blown in the wind. Every once in a while Sean Penn would pop in out of nowhere just wondering through a building or walking in the desert for no reason. 20 minutes into the movie the whole thing stops and we get a 15-20 minute montage of planets and volcanoes erupting. It all feels very 2001-ish if Stanley Kubrick was retarded. The whole thing is insanely pretentious and comes off as movie making masturbation. And I haven't even talked about the DINOSAURS.  

I have no idea what this movie was about and I don't think anybody involved in its creation has any idea either. The best comment I've seen on this movie was "I feel like I just watched a screen saver".

8  -  “Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close”

As much as I hate Tree of Life, I can understand why it was nominated. People have a hard on for Malick and think he's some great genius, blah, blah, blah. While Extremely Loud is not nearly as bad as Tree of Life, I cannot for the life of me come up with a single reason why anybody would nominate this for best picture. It's mediocre at its best, insulting at its worst and once again, insanely pretentious.  

I love a good sad movie. Whether it's through happiness or sadness, if a movie can bring a tear to my eye, I think that's powerful stuff. But it has to happen organically. A movie has to DESERVE my tears. This movie doesn't deserve them because all it does is desperately TRY to make you cry. It is a truly pathetic attempt to yank any kind of emotion out of you that it can. It employs every single hack, trick, cliché Hollywood has ever used in a piss poor attempt to make you tear up. But since nearly every single character in the movie is either highly annoying or incredibly bland, it's not going to make people cry.

Oh, wait. I take that back. Of course it's going to make people cry. Because it needlessly uses and exploits the biggest tragedy in American history that is still way too fresh in way too many minds. Yes, the whole movie revolves around 9/11. Why? I have no idea. It's not necessary in the least. It's just blatant exploitation at its worst. It doesn't add a single thing to any character in the movie and it adds nothing to the story.

The story revolves around an infuriating and annoying kid whose father died in 9/11. But the way the father dies does NOT add anything to this story. He could've died in a car wreck. He could've died in Iraq. He could've died from cancer. He could've been shot in a robbery. But no, none of this happens because the filmmakers wanted to be able to shove all that awful imagery down our throats. They wanted to show the smoking buildings, they wanted to show the paper flying everywhere and best of all they wanted to show MANY close up shots of Tom Hanks falling to his death from the top of a burning and collapsing World Trade Center. It's all such a shameless ploy to be a tearjerker that it winds up doing the opposite as it borders on becoming comedy. It would make a great drinking game. Take a drink every time Tom Hanks jumps out the window. Take a drink every time a character says a line of dialogue that is so over the top flowery that it sounds like it was written by Emily Dickinson. Take a drink every time the annoying kid shakes his tambourine and makes you want to punch him in the face.

The only thing I found good about this movie was Sandra Bullock. I thought she excelled in her role and was probably the best performance of her career. It boggles my mind that she is ignored for this yet won for that Blind Side garbage.

7 - “Moneyball"

Speaking of needless movies. Good gravy, who thought this "story" deserved to be turned into a movie? You thought making Facebook into a movie was bad? Well, get a load of this one. A movie about baseball stats!  YAY! The thing is, at least there was a story behind Facebook, there's NO story here. There's enough story here to write a few sports blogs, but to make a movie out of? The movie itself is very slow and boring. I would describe it exactly like I described Social Network. It's 2 hours of rich white people talking. And my biggest complaint is that if you actually follow sports you understand that nearly every second of this movie is BS.

The movie presents the story as this. In 2001 the Oakland A's lost Jason Giambi, Jason Isringhausen and Johnny Damon to free agency and the team was expected to tank without them. Billy Beane (Brad Pitt) meets an intern (Jonah Hill) who thinks the way baseball people draft and sign players is flawed and he uses math equations to pick the actual good players. So Beane, knowing that he can't compete with big market teams with his low payroll, makes this intern kid his assistant GM and they start signing a bunch of cheap lugs to fill in the empty holes and they keep winning without Giambi, Isringhausen and Damon.

Hold up.  I've got some issues here.

A) - The character Jonah Hill plays doesn't exist. So already this is a MAJOR screw job to the actual story.  And with the way the character is presented in the movie, he does EVERYTHING. If you follow the movie, there is no reason why Billy Beane should be credited as the guy who brought "moneyball" into baseball. The movie constantly shows that Beane does nothing but ask this guy which player they should get and then he gets him. All I got out of this movie is that Beane should've been fired and this intern kid should've been GM. Beane has a book about him and now a movie about him but according to the movie he didn't do a damn thing.

B) - According to the movie the A's lost those three players and this left the team in complete shambles.  Beane replaces these guys with an injured Scott Hatteberg, a washed up David Justice and Chad Bradford, a reliever that the scouts didn't like because he threw funny. That's it. That's all he did and somehow this created a winning team. The movie presents this team as if it was a bunch of morons and rejects.  They present it as if it was the Cleveland Indians from the Major League movies but these three small additions turn the team's fortunes around all by themselves. But in reality the A's still had a tremendous amount of talent on the team. The movie ignores Miguel Tejada, a 6 time all star and a future MVP of the league. It ignores Eric Chavez, a 6 time Gold Glove winner and the winner of the Silver Slugger award the year this movie is set in. It ignores Jermaine Dye, another All Star, another winner of both Gold Glove and Silver Slugger awards and a future World Series MVP. Look at the numbers. That year Tejada and Chavez alone combined for 68 homeruns, 240 RBI and 195 runs. Hatteberg and Justice combined for 26 homeruns, 110 RBI and 112 runs.  The movie also ignores the fact that Chad Bradford was already on the team the year before. So he was already there before the moneyball system was even being used.

But the most glaring omission of all is Barry Zito, Mark Mulder and Tim Hudson. Hudson is mentioned only one time in the movie, in passing, but for the most part these three pitchers are completely ignored and their contributions to the team are never mentioned. If you're not in the loop, let me fill you in. Zito, Mulder and Hudson were pretty much the best pitching rotation in the league. They were so dominate that they were nicknamed The Big Three. Mulder is a two time All Star and a World Series winner. Hudson is a three time All Star and once led the entire league in wins, as an A. Zito is another three time All Star and won the Cy Young THE YEAR THIS MOVIE IS SET. But none of that is mentioned. The movie also doesn't mention Billy Koch. Koch was the pitcher who replaced Jason Isringhausen as the A's closer. The previous year, Isringhausen had 34 saves for the A's. His replacement, Koch, came in and had 44 and won the reliever of the year award. None of that is mentioned. The movie acts like the A's didn't have any pitchers. That they were down to using a pitching machine during games. In real life, the "moneyball" concept didn't have nearly the affect on the A's winning that year as having 3 All Star pitchers and the best reliever in baseball had, but yet NONE of that is mentioned because it gets in the way of the boring meaningless story they're trying to tell.

C) - The entire "moneyball" concept is a total failure.  Going into the movie I knew the A's did not win the World Series that year. They have never won it since. They've been a very mediocre team for a decade now. Billy Beane and all his fancy numbers never amounted to anything. So I went into the movie wondering just how the hell it was going to end. The sports movie always has to end with the team winning in the end doesn't it? Well, they end the movie by trying to say Billy Beane changed the face of baseball forever. He didn't win the World Series but he completely revolutionized the way teams view players, stats and contracts. He changed everything.

But he didn't. He changed nothing. Several teams in baseball adopted the moneyball concept and they all failed. Just look at the A's themselves. Since implementing this system 10 years ago the A's have made the playoffs only 3 teams and have had 4 losing seasons a 1 .500 season. Look at the Mets. They implemented the system and have been one of the worst teams in the league. The only team that actually won anything using moneyball was the Boston Red Sox but they had a payroll 100 million dollars higher than the A's had which did a hell of a lot more for them than the moneyball crap did.

Add all that to the fact that the movie is slow, boring and every actor seems to be sleepwalking and I don't get this pick one bit. I'm not saying it's a bad movie. I'm just saying it ain't a good one.

6 - "War Horse"

War Horse is just weird. I had hopes for it but they didn't last long. I thought I was going into this serious WWI movie about a boy and his horse and instead I got some weird mish mash kids war movie. I don't know what this movie was and it doesn't seem like Spielberg knew exactly what he was trying to do with it. All the stuff with the horse comes off very silly and childish because they made the horse this super intelligent thing that can apparently understand the English language with no problem whatsoever. All the kid has to do is tell the horse what he wants him to do and he does it. Then the horse is making friends with other horses. And there is this duck that seems to understand everything too so he runs after the bad guys and tries to bite them on the ankles. The people are possibly even more annoying than the animals because every single character that sees this horse seems to fall in love with it and goes on and on about what an amazing creature it is. They act like it's some magical mystical thing. It completely feels like I'm watching Babe with a horse instead of a pig. It feels like a talking animal movie that forgot to make the animals talk.

But counteracting all the kids movie antics is the war part. The war scenes are as brutal as most any other war movie. People are getting shot, stabbed, sliced, blown up, gassed and killed off by the dozens. You've got people getting executed, you've got hints at rape and other nasty things and then in the middle of all this serious crap is this weird kids movie about this talking horse that doesn't talk. It's like if Garfield showed up in Saving Private Ryan. It makes NO sense. I keep mentioning talking animals because I spent most of the movie wishing the animals could talk. If the animals could talk, then the movie would make sense. Both in that I would at least figure out that this was supposed to be a kids movie and in that I would also be able to understand why this horse did the amazingly unbelievable things it did if I knew it was a talking horse. But the horse didn't talk and as a result the movie was a mess.

To make matters even more messy and confusing, the movie is basically an anthology movie. The movie starts with the horse with the kid on the farm. We get to know all these characters and get involved with their story but then it gets sold to the British army. Now all those farm characters have been replaced with brand new characters and a new storyline. Just when you're settled in with that, oh no, the horse gets taken by the German army and now we have another new cast and another storyline. Hope you don't get interested in these guys because a little while later they get killed and the horse ends up living on a French farm. Like this part? Well, too bad, it's over. The horse is now taken by the French army. Reset! Now the horse gets pissed at the French and goes AWOL. Ends up back with the British. WTF is going on? And in the middle of all this is one of the corniest scenes in movie history. The horse gets stuck in barbed wire in-between the British and German armies. Guess what happens? The two sides stop fighting and work together to free the horse. You know, like they would in real life. Complete cornball non-sense.

At the end of the day the biggest problem I had is that the movie really didn't have a point. It didn't say anything about anything. It was just a horse that went to war, met a bunch of people and then went home. Every single major plot point of this movie is in the 2 minute trailer. There's nothing here. It's just an empty void. I was sitting there watching it and during one of the big war scenes I just started looking at the set, all the people, all the horses, all the guns, cannons, tanks and I got really angry. I started thinking these people wasted multi-multi-multi-millions of dollars on creating this POINTLESS tripe. That money could've done so much good in this world, but instead it was used to make a talking horse movie where the horse doesn't even talk.

5 - “Hugo"

Hugo is a movie I really don't have much to say about. It just sat there. I watched it then got up and it went away. Visually it felt like a bit of a mess. Just too much going on at once. I figure if you saw this in 3D on the big screen it was probably amazing. But at home in old fashioned D it feels way too busy and convoluted. The story didn't hold my interest at all. I couldn't tell you what it was about except that its plot was almost exactly the same as Extremely Loud except this kid's father died in a fire instead of 9/11. One problem for me personally is that from the very first second and through every single frame of the movie, it reminded me of City of Lost Children. It felt like an over-budgeted, dumbed down, more childish and happy version of City of Lost ChildrenCity of Lost Children is one of my favorite movies so watching Hugo I just kept thinking, I wish I wasn't watching this and that I was watching City of Lost Children again. All in all I just found the movie very mediocre.

4 -  “The Artist” *predicted to win*

I like The Artist. I really do. It was fun and different and all that.I enjoyed the movie very much....


I just don't get the hype. More than that, it kinda pisses me off. I love old movies. I will almost always pick the 1940 movie over the 2012 movie. Less colors = more gooder. I love silent movies as well. The older movies were made by true artists in a time when even the studios actually cared about putting out quality material instead of basing a movie around how many toys or collectible cups they could sell. A time when they made movies to last, not to get one good opening weekend and one good first week of DVD sales before everybody realizes it stinks. But I'm in the minority in feeling this way. So many people act like watching a black and white movie is boring, trying to get them to watch one without sound is impossible. Yet many of these some people who despise black and white movies and silent movies are scorching their shorts over The Artist because it's different from the norm. I don't get it. Sure it's cool they recreated the silent film era almost perfectly. That's awesome. But what is making people who would normal despise a silent movie like this one? I have no idea. Why is a modern day recreation of something old considered cool while the thing it's recreating is not?

If you take the silent film aspect away from The Artist you can plainly see that it's nothing more than an average rom-com. There's nothing compelling or unique about its story. It's just the same old thing presented in a somewhat unique way. For some reason this makes it "amazing" because it came out in 2012. But if this came out in 1925 nobody would give a crap. It's simply getting the attention because it's a silent movie in 2012, it's not getting it because it's a GREAT silent movie. If The Artist had to go up against other great silent movies, it would get slaughtered. It wouldn't be looked back on as one of the great movies of the silent film era. It would've just been one of a million that might get played on TCM's Silent Sunday Nights once every couple of years.

It's a good movie, no question, but it's not great. It's not deserving of the hype and it's not deserving of this award. If you want to see a great silent movie see The General.  See Metropolis. See City Lights, Nosferatu, Cabinet of Dr Caligari, Sherlock Jr, The Gold Rush, The Passion of Joan of Arc, Birth of a Nation, Intolerance, The Battleship Potemkin, The Phantom of the Opera, Broken Blossoms, Steamboat Bill Jr, The Kid, Ben-Hur, Wings, The Unknown, The Circus, The Man Who Laughs, The Lodger, A Trip to the Moon, It, the list goes on and on and on for days. There are silent movies out there that did things that would be amazing today with computers, made back then its breath taking. Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton were two of the most ground breaking and inventive film geniuses of all time. When you watch those movies you see stuff that was never seen before and never seen since. You watch The Artist and all you'll see is the same rom-com that comes out every couple of weeks except they used some computer filters to make it look old.  Ooooh, wow.

3 - "The Descendants"

I enjoyed The Descendants but I've sat here staring for 10 minutes trying to think of something to say about it.  For me it's one of those movies if I had seen months ago I'd probably be raving about it, but knowing that it's won a million awards and it's nominated for a million more it makes it a bit underwhelming even though it IS great. It's not a movie that's going to blow you away or anything but it's solid. Well written, well directed, and well acted.  Every character is interesting and every cast member hits a home run. It might even make you cry without having to resort to showing you Tom Hanks falling from the top of the Twin Towers. It's funny and sad, depressing and uplifting.  t may be #3 on this list but if anything in my top 3 won I'd be happy.

2 - "The Help"

I know. I'm supposed to hate this movie. I should loathe everything about it. But it ended up being surprisingly enjoyable. I didn't come out of it screaming OH MY GOD THIS IS AWWWEEEEEEESOOOOMMEEEE but it's exactly like The Descendants. It's well directed, it's well written and it's well acted and you really can't ask for much more than that these days. The entire cast was great. It's just a good, solid movie. It also managed to not be everything I feared it would be. I figured it would end up being one of those Fried Green Tomatoes type chick flicks. It may have come close a couple of times but it never fully went that far with it. I was also worried about the racial aspect. Hollywood is just amazingly stupid when it comes to race. I expected to see another embarrassing turd like Crash. I expected to see either the evil whitey stereotype or the poor black people can't do anything for themselves and need white people to help them stereotype. But I honestly felt the movie avoided both those stereotypes and seemed to present the race issues of those times with as much honesty as one could expect from a modern day Hollywood film. It didn't sugar coat what was happening at the time, but it also doesn't portray every black person as a noble, innocent victim. There are no broad strokes in this movie. The movie ends up being not about race, but about how people treat other people. It's also a movie that deftly switches back and forth between laugh out loud comedy to tear jerking sadness. It also features a very lengthy storyline about a woman eating a pie made out of shit. Plus it has Emma Stone in it. Even with stupid hair and being uglied up for the role, she still makes my pants uncomfortable.

1 - "Midnight in Paris"

If you had told me before I started watching this year's movies that I'd wind up picking the Woody Allen movie as my favorite of the bunch I might've decided to not watch them this year. But it's the only movie out of all 9 that grabbed hold of me from the very first second to the very last. It's smart, charming and, most of all, fun. It's one of those rare movies where you can see that every actor is having fun and enjoying the hell out of what they're doing and that fun is contagious the viewer. It's also a movie that has something to say. It has a message. And that is something that the rest of these movies, even the ones I liked, didn't really have. It's a bit weird that the light romantic comedy/time traveling adventure from Woody Allen is the most impactful movie of the bunch, but it truly is. Yet it's not going to beat you over the head with any messages either. It's a movie that you can certainly watch and just enjoy the time traveling fun and interesting, quirky, fun characters or you can look a little deeper and try to figure out other things going on. There's layer after layer after layer and every layer is great. It's as much a love letter to Hollywood as The Artist was but at the same time a biting critique of it as well.

I loved this movie but I really don't want to say much about it. I went into it cold, not knowing exactly what was going to go on and that made it even better. I just encourage people to see it for themselves. The sad thing is Woody Allen movies are a bit like the black and white and silent movies I discussed earlier. My whole life it seems everybody hates Woody Allen movies. Anybody around my age and younger seems to think Woody Allen movies are only for old people and they wouldn't be caught dead watching one. I was caught up in that for much of my life as well, until I actually watched one and realize everybody was retarded. If you don't think Woody Allen is funny, you're just insane. He's the most sarcastic smartass who ever lived. I've never seen anything funnier than when he gets out of the car in Annie Hall and says "Don't worry, we can walk to the curb from here." Ok, it's not funny in print but whatever.

If I picked the nominees...

The Iron Lady
The Help
The Descendants
The Artist
Midnight in Paris
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo


500 - Terrence Malick for “The Tree of Life
4 - Martin Scorsese for “Hugo
3 - Michel Hazanavicius for “The Artist*prediction*
2 - Alexander Payne for “The Descendants

1 - Woody Allen for “Midnight in Paris

I think I've made my thoughts on these movies pretty clear and directing pretty much falls the same way.  I'm tempted to put Scorsese over Hazanavicius but I didn't because who gives a crap.

If I picked the nominees...

Michel Hazanavicius for “The Artist” 
Alexander Payne for “The Descendants
Woody Allen for “Midnight in Paris
David Fincher for "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo"
Phyllida Lloyd for "The Iron Lady"


5 - Michel Hazanavicus for “The Artist"
4 - Kristen Wiig & Annie Mumolo for “Bridesmaids
3 - J.C. Chandor for “Margin Call
2 - Asghar Farhadi for “A Separation

1 - Woody Allen for “Midnight in Paris

The Artist is going to win a lot of awards. It deserves some of them. But writing? How can a silent movie get best screenplay?

Bridesmaids was a decent comedy but that's about it. I don't think there's anybody funnier on Earth than Kristin Wiig. But an Oscar? For this paint by numbers comedy? Wut?

Truth be told I didn't watch Margin Call or A Separation. But Margin Call isn't nominated for anything else so I assume that the writing must've been pretty damn good for it to get nominated out of the blue like this.  And I know A Separation is an Iranian movie. There's no way a movie from Iran is going to get nominated for an American award unless it's really great.

If I picked the nominees...

Midnight in Paris
Young Adult


5    George Clooney, Grant Heslov, Beau Wilimon for “The Ides of March
4    Peter Straughan and Bridget O’Connor for “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy
3    John Logan for “Hugo
2    Aaron Sorkin, Steven Zaillian, Stan Chervin for “Moneyball

1    Nat Faxon, Alexander Payne, Jim Rash for “The Descendants

Ides of March was a decent flick but ultimately ended up rather pointless. It built a lot of momentum and seemed to be building towards something and then it just fizzled to a who gives a crap ending.

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy?  More like Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Zzzzzzzzzzzzz. Just like Ides, it started off well but it bogged down. The first hour or so was pretty interesting but the second hour was boring, sleepy, slow and confusing.

You may be surprised that I pushed Moneyball up to two. While I didn't love it, they certainly came up with a mildly decent script despite the fact that they were telling the most useless story in the history of movies.

If I picked the nominees...

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
The Help
The Descendants


5    Melissa McCarthy for “Bridesmaids
4    Janet McTeer for “Albert Nobbs
3    Berenice Bejo for “The Artist
2    Octavia Spencer for “The Help*prediction*

1    Jessica Chastain for “The Help"

This Melissa McCarthy thing has to be the worst joke ever. How in the piss is that hideous woman nominated for a friggin Oscar? Hands down, the worst nomination ever. Her character in Bridesmaids was stupid, useless, obnoxious, unnecessary, annoying, pointless and the complete opposite of funny. It's a character that has been in every single "raunchy" R rated comedy since the 80s. She was the "Booger" of Bridesmaids.  Nobody gave Booger the Oscar. I watched the whole movie expecting some big reveal that would explain why she deserves this nomination over other much more deserving people and there was NOTHING there.  She was by far the worst part of the movie, ruined every scene she was in and nearly ruined the whole movie. I don't get this at all and never will.

Ultimately my decision was only between Octavia Spencer and Jessica Chastain.  I gave Chastain a slight nod because I feel she's the one who had to stretch the most to really become the character she played. A character 100% nothing like Chastain. While Spencer pretty much just played the fat, sassy black lady. Not really all that much of a stretch. I thoroughly enjoyed Spencer but it seemed like her part was written specifically to be the role that stole the scenes she was in. It wasn't that Spencer stole the scenes, it was the script and pretty much anybody cast in that role would also get nominated. For me, Chastain was the one that truly stole every single scene she was in organically through nothing but her performance. Every time she was on screen I liked the movie more than the time she wasn't.

If I picked the nominees...

Sandra Bullock for "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close"
Jessica Chastain for “The Help"
Octavia Spencer for “The Help
Shailene Woodley for "The Descendants"
Rachel McAdams for "Midnight in Paris"


5    Max Von Sydow for “Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close
4    Jonah Hill for “Moneyball
3    Kenneth Branagh for “My Week with Marilyn
2    Christopher Plummer for “Beginners”  *prediction*

1    Nick Nolte for “Warrior"

Max Von Sydow is another head scratcher. He doesn't talk for the whole movie. He plays a mute who writes everything on a notepad. I COULD'VE DONE THAT!

Jonah Hill? Jonah Hill?? Seriously? Jonah Hill plays Jonah Hill in the movie. Am I supposed to be impressed by that? If this category was Best Jonah Hill Performance, I MIGHT agree with this choice.

Christopher Plummer is a great actor and was good in Beginners, a movie I really, really enjoyed. But I feel the performance isn't as great as everybody is making it out. It just feels like another Oscar bait performance. You used to be guaranteed to get a nomination if you played a retard, these days gay is the new retard. Plummer plays a man who decides to come out of the closet and live as an openly gay man in his late 70s/early 80s or so. Then after that he gets cancer. An old gay man with cancer? That's Oscar bait 101 these days. And in reality all Plummer really did was play Chris Plummer and then play Chris Plummer with a pink scarf. 

I don't really mean to take anything from it. It was good and I loved the movie. I was fully planning on giving my vote to Plummer because I liked the movie so much and for some reason this is its only nomination. But then I watched Warrior.

Nick Nolte blows all these other guys out of the water in Warrior. I say it's the best acting performance of the year, period, supporting, lead, female, male, period. He is absolutely riveting for every second of the movie. He plays a former alcoholic who is absolutely hated by his two sons. We see how much they hate him, we hear about his drinking and we hear about his abusive behavior, but Nolte plays it completely likeable and sympathetic. You just can't comprehend how this sad, pathetic old guy could be so hated by his own sons. It doesn't make sense. You feel sorry for the guy the entire time. But then there's one scene where we get to see what he was like drunk. He completely changes. His body changes, his face changes, he's ranting and raving like a maniac. The monster has been revealed but instead of fearing it you still feel nothing but sympathy that he has to live with that inside of him. Once you see Nolte in this movie it SHOULD be a no brainer.

If I picked the nominees...

Christopher Plummer for “Beginners
Nick Nolte for “Warrior"
Albert Brooks for "Drive"
Corey Stoll for "Midnight in Paris"
John Hawkes for "Martha Macy May Marlene"


5   Glenn Close for “Albert Nobbs
4   Michelle Williams for “My Week with Marilyn
3   Viola Davis for “The Help*prediction*
2   Rooney Mara for “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”

1   Meryl Streep for “The Iron Lady

Am I really supposed to be impressed that Glenn Close played a man in a movie? Seriously? We've all thought she looked like a man for 40 years.

I really do like Michelle Williams. Been a fan since Dick. But I have grown really tired of how Hollywood has treated her since Heath Ledger. Nobody was a bigger fan of Heath Ledger than me. No fan was more bummed when he died. But ok, enough already. It was nice to see everybody rally around Michelle Williams then, but you've been given her awards for 4 years now. Ok, we get it. She's not THIS good. Let's end the pity party.

Rooney Mara did a shockingly good job in Dragon Tattoo.  She was a million times better in the role than the girl who originally played the part in the Swedish version. I almost talked myself into giving it to her based on the amount of times she showed her tits, but I couldn't bring myself to do it.

This is another category that should be just cut and dry. Meryl Streep is un-naturally good in Iron Lady. She doesn't play Margaret Thatcher, she becomes Margaret Thatcher. It's unbelievable. I forgot it was her for long stretches of time and then I'd wake up and go oh my God, that's Meryl Streep! Meryl Streep is by far the best and most consistent actor of any gender since the 70s. Others like DeNiro and Pacino have fallen while she not only continues, but improves. There seems to come a point with people like this that you stop caring, they're too good, we all know it, no need to give her yet another award. We start overlooking greatness just because it's been great for so long. But it's not time to do it yet when it comes to Streep. Iron Lady is the performance of a lifetime but somebody who I would've thought had already had her performance of a lifetime.

If I picked the nominees...

Rooney Mara for “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”
Meryl Streep for “The Iron Lady
Tilda Swinton for "We Need to Talk About Kevin"
Elizabeth Olsen for "Martha Marcy May Marlene"
Charlize Theron for "Young Adult"


5   Brad Pitt for “Moneyball
4   Gary Oldman for “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy
3   Demian Bichir for “A Better Life
2   Jean Dujardin for “The Artist*prediction*

1   George Clooney for “The Descendants

This is, by far, the weakest category.

Oh, look at me, I'm Brad Pitt and I play Brad Pitt in Moneyball. WHO CARES? I truly can't believe THIS is the movie Pitt got nominated for. I am not one of those Brad Pitt haters. I think the guy can be a great actor sometimes and has been in some of the coolest movies for two decades now. But Moneyball is the most boring Brad Pitt I've ever seen. He sleepwalks through the movie and just plays himself.

Same thing with Gary Oldman. Gary Oldman rules. Has been amaze-balls in dozens of movies. THIS is the one that gets nominated? The one where he just walks around and whispers for 3 hours?? Seriously?

Bichir did pretty good in A Better Life but felt very miss-cast. Totally wrong for the part. I never bought him in this role despite all his efforts.

In all honestly I would make this one a tie if I could. Clooney and Dujardin were both good in their movies but neither blew me away. Neither stood out from the other. So I just have to go with the fact that I've been a Clooney fan forever. I used to love his dad Nick Clooney on AMC even. I didn't find his performance in The Descendants better or worse than he usually in, but this guy has acted in, produced or directed some of my favorite movies of the last few years. Plus he handled the Batman and Robin fiasco as classy as anybody could've. So that gives him the edge over Dujardin in my book.

If I picked the nominees...

Michael Shannon for "Take Shelter"
Joseph Gordon-Levitt for "50/50"
Tom Hardy for "Warrior"
Ryan Gosling for "Drive"
Ewan McGregor for "Beginners"

Pick - The Artist
Prediction - Hugo

Pick - The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Prediction - Tree of Life

Pick - The Artist
Prediction - Jane Eyre

Pick - The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Prediction - The Artist

Pick - The Iron Lady
Prediction - The Iron Lady

Pick - The Artist
Prediction - The Artist

Pick - Man or Muppet
Prediction - Man or Muppet

Pick - Transformers
Prediction - Hugo

Pick - Transformers
Prediction - Hugo

Pick - Transformers
Prediction - Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Pick - A Separation
Prediction -  A Separation

Pick - Rango
Prediction - Rango

Pick - Paradise Lost 3
Prediction - Pina


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